Irish Author Publishes Moving Statue Novel

Debut Novel, "The Grotto", Set in Modern-Day Ireland, Centers on a Moving Statue Episode that Goes Horribly Wrong
ENNIS, Ireland - May 20, 2013 - PRLog -- Ennis-born author, U. Cronin, has published his debut novel, The Grotto, about a moving statue incident that isn't all that it seems. When a statue of the Virgin Mary in a Lourdes grotto outside a small village in deepest rural Ireland begins to move, thousands flock to witness the apparent miracle. Very soon, however, strange and disturbing things begin to happen in the vicinity of Loughermore; from a series of animal mutilations to kidnappings to ritualistic human sacrifices. A group of local men calling themselves 'The Guardians' fall under the control of a malign entity that has come to reside in the statue and it becomes a battle between good and evil as Mac ― the book's hero ― and his friends learn to harness the ancient power of stone circles to combat the entity's own ageless and terrible power. The Grotto takes readers from the rugged uplands of County Cork to the Basque Country and back again and boasts a cast of characters ranging from mystic priests and their eccentric spinster housekeepers to crooked politicians and wily police superintendents.

"The moving statue phenomenon is something that has always fascinated me," says Cronin. "Especially having grown up in 1980s rural Ireland, where at one stage, in the wake of the Ballinspittle phenomenon, every little town and village had its own moving statue!" The Grotto is loosely based on the events at Ballinspittle and Cronin reports the initial inspiration for the book as coming from listening to a radio documentary where one terrified old woman was reported as seeing the Virgin in Blallinspittle transform into a blood-drenched, demon-like entity. "I took that idea and ran with it," says Cronin, "with the central assumption in the book being that there's something infinitely malign inside the statue; an entity who delights in causing mayhem and tormenting people. In fact it feeds off suffering."

The Grotto places myths and legends from Ireland's pre-Christian past alongside modern attitudes to phenomena such as moving statues and examines attitudes to the pagan matrix of beliefs upon which Christianity built when it arrived to Ireland. More than a run-of-the-mill supernatural thriller, the characters' reactions to the paranormal and the mystic are teased out as The Grotto unfolds, making the novel a thought-provoking as well as unsettling read.

U. Cronin was born in Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland and studied science, eventually to gain a Ph.D. in microbiology. After what he describes as a "road to Damascus moment" driving between Listowel and Tarbert, he decided to try his hand at writing. A year later, his first novel, The Grotto, was born. More information on U. Cronin can be found at:
Tags:Book, Ireland, Horror
Industry:Books, Literature
Location:Ennis - Clare - Ireland
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